10 Tips to Minimize Thanksgiving Holiday Hazards, According to Mercury Insurance

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Homeowners and drivers should take precautions to protect themselves, loved ones and property this holiday weekend

Thanksgiving should be focused on family, food and making memories – not recovering from a disaster.

Thanksgiving is a time family comes together to share a feast and their gratitude. However, for those who are playing host or traveling to be with loved ones, there are several items to check off the list to ensure the holiday goes off without a hitch. Mercury Insurance (NYSE:MCY) experts want to help policyholders enjoy a safe and happy Thanksgiving at home and on the road.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, unattended cooking is the leading contributing factor in cooking fires and fire deaths.

“Thanksgiving should be focused on family, food and making memories – not recovering from a disaster,” said Christopher O’Rourke, Mercury Insurance’s vice president of property claims. “It’s important for homeowners to pay attention to details like not leaving the stove unattended and, if they’re burning candles, keeping them away from anything flammable, and out of reach of children and pets. Taking a few simple steps to prevent holiday mishaps can make a world of difference for you and your loved ones.”

Here are five tips O’Rourke recommends to help ensure the dinner conversation is the only thing ablaze in your home:

1.    Don’t leave kitchen appliances unattended while in use. Reduce fire risks by keeping a watchful eye on the stovetop and oven to prevent food from burning or boiling over and potentially igniting a flame.
2.    Use caution when burning candles. Flameless candles are a safe, decorative alternative to wick-burning candles. Not only do they reduce fire danger, but they also last longer and are reusable.
3.    Keep a fire extinguisher handy. Even the most careful cooks can have an accident, so be sure to keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen in case of emergency and train your family on how to use it.
4.    Save the holiday photos for #throwbackthursday. Avoid posting travel plans on social media letting people know you will be out of town – burglars could see that as an opportunity to loot your house while you’re away.
5.    Ensure smoke alarms are in working order. An alarm should be placed in or near the kitchen, on each level of your home and in all bedrooms or sleeping areas. Check them twice a year by pushing the ‘test’ button and replace batteries annually.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Thanksgiving holiday – traditionally the start of the busy holiday travel season – sees an increase in crashes and fatalities. More than 50 million travelers take to the roads to journey to their destinations, leading to some of the busiest traffic of the year.

About Mercury Insurance
Mercury Insurance (MCY) is a multiple-line insurance organization predominantly offering personal automobile, homeowners and commercial insurance through a network of independent agents in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia. Since 1962, Mercury has specialized in offering quality insurance at affordable prices. For more information visit http://www.mercuryinsurance.com or Facebook and follow the company on Twitter.

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Brandy Patton
Pacific Communications Group
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